Building for the Future

Building for the FutureSM (BFF) is a financial service that Nonprofit Finance Fund® has developed in partnership with funders and nonprofits. BFF helps nonprofits plan, build, develop and manage cash assets such as building reserves and endowments. It also encourages sound management practices by offering financial incentives, in the form of matching grants, to enact these practices. 

The programs provide advisory services reinforced by matching grants as their centerpiece, which guide participating organizations in building their capacity and developing their assets. The strategy of combining matching grants and advice to create assets is a strategy that has broad applicability, and we see many opportunities for expanding it. BFF has already provided $7.5 million to foster more effective management practices in more than 50 organizations.

To date, we have developed three unique BFF programs that you can learn about below:

Nonprofit Finance Fund® BFF Program for Boys and Girls Clubs in the Northeast
Our BFF program for Boys and Girls Clubs serves clubs in New York and New Jersey, and the Boston area. It provides facilities-related advice including system replacement plans and matching grants to help clubs develop reserves for their buildings. These reserves help the clubs replace large systems like roofs, floors, and swimming pools, and conduct regular preventive maintenance.

The program is funded by $4.5 million from the Charles Hayden Foundation, the Citigroup Foundation, MetLife Bank, and the United States Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. Banking services for the program's participants are provided by Merrill Lynch.

BFF's program for Boys and Girls Clubs' ultimate goal is to help clubs realize safer, more cost-efficient, better-run buildings and to make grantmaking dollars more effectively encourage sound management. Currently, 16 Boys and Girls Clubs representing 25 facilities are enrolled.

Participants include: Arlington Boys and Girls Club, Boys & Girls Club of Clifton, Inc., Boys & Girls Club of Oyster Bay-East Norwich, Boys & Girls Club of Stoneham, Boys and Girls Club of Lynn, Boys and Girls Club of Passaic, Inc., Boys and Girls Club of Paterson, Boys and Girls Club of Woburn, Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, Boys and Girls Clubs of Newark, Inc., Colonel Daniel Marr Boys and Girls Club, Grenville Baker Boys and Girls Club, Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, Madison Square Boys and Girls Club, Salesian Boys and Girls Club, and Waltham Boys & Girls Club.

You can read about the background research that informed the creation of the Building for Future program for Boys and Girls Clubs. The Capitalizing Youth Services research paper includes an analysis of the facilities, financial and managerial needs of a sampling of Boys and Girls Clubs.

NFF's Partnership in the Midwest
Nonprofit Finance Fund® (NFF®), working with United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM), first implemented the BFFSM program in southeastern Michigan in 2003. BFFSM provides facility-related advice and matching grants to help nonprofits develop asset reserves for their buildings. These reserves assist the nonprofits in replacing large items like roofs, windows, doors, and heating and cooling systems. As part of their participation in the program, nonprofits also conduct regular preventive maintenance.


The program is funded by $3.6 million from UWSEM. The first funding round enrolled 21 nonprofits from the social services, educational, and art sectors located in the tri-county area of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb. The second round will add up to 10 new groups in the same geographical area.

The goal of this program is to eliminate the need for emergency funding for system replacements. The dollar-for-dollar matching grant provides the nonprofits with the ability to budget for their building replacements and to help organizations establish and fund reserves to address building needs.

Participants include: ACCESS Arab Community Center for Economic Services, Alternatives for Girls, Arab-American & Chaldean Council, Catholic Social Services of Wayne County, Children's Home of Detroit, Community Assessment Referral and Education, Cranbrook, Detroit Association of Black Organizations, Detroit Entrepreneurship Institute, Girl Scouts of Macomb County, Gleaners Community Food Bank, Inc., Haven, Humane Society of Livingston County, JARC, Jewish Vocational Services, Lighthouse of Oakland County, Neighborhood Club, New Center Community Mental Health Properties, Northeast Guidance Center, The Pewabic Society, Inc., and Vista Maria

To learn more about how NFF's program for southeastern Michigan works, please click here.

JazzNet: A Program for Jazz Presenters Nationwide
As another application of the BFF product, JazzNet assisted 14 regionally significant jazz presenting organizations in developing and managing endowments. It was managed and administered by NFF, and supported by more than $9.1 million from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Investment management services for the program's participants were provided by Bank of America.

Through matching endowment re-grants, re-grants for jazz programming and administration, and advisory services, JazzNet's goal was to create a permanent stream of income to support jazz programming and administration, including the creation of new works and the establishment of residencies for jazz artists.

Participants included: American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO), Artists Collective (Hartford, CT), CityFolk (Dayton, OH), Contemporary Arts Center (New Orleans), Earshot Jazz (Seattle), Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (Burlington, VT), Manchester Craftsmen's Guild (Pittsburgh), New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation (New Orleans), Newark Public Radio/WBGO (Newark, NJ), Outpost Productions (Albuquerque, NM), San Francisco Jazz Organization (San Francisco), Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz (Washington, D.C.), Tri-C JazzFest (Cleveland, OH), and University Musical Society (Ann Arbor, MI).

With its menu of advisory services, including workshops and consultations, JazzNet provided jazz presenters with the management support to help develop and maintain their endowments.

Click here to see how the JazzNet Program worked.

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To listen to the NFF Loan Webinar: Preparing Your Organization to Apply for a Loan, and to download the presentation, please click here.




CARS™, the CDFI Assessment and Ratings System is the standard third-party assessment of a CDFI’s impact and financial performance.


To listen to the NFF Loan Webinar: Preparing Your Organization to Apply for a Loan, and to download the presentation, please click here.




CARS™, the CDFI Assessment and Ratings System is the standard third-party assessment of a CDFI’s impact and financial performance.